What do dieting and the county fair have in common? I promise this isn't a bad dad joke ;)

by Jaclyn McCabe January 10, 2022



I am so grateful the fat acceptance movement exists. Watching other plus-size women live life out loud and shame-free has truly saved me in more ways than I can count. 

I want everyone in the world to love their bodies exactly as they are today. Reading articles, watching videos, and following fat social media accounts showing me how to do that has been incredibly helpful in my journey to self-love. 

The women in the fat acceptance movement showed me how to love myself, use my voice, and take up the space I deserved––no matter my size. They also taught me how to stop hurting my body by dieting and helped me release years of shame by doing simple but hard things like eating in public. For that, I will forever be grateful. 

And while I think taking judgment off of food and eating whatever you want is an essential and crucial step towards self-love, I struggle to cosign that as a long-term solution. 

In my experience, when you let go of an unhealthy coping mechanism, like dieting, it’s natural to overcorrect the behavior as you strive to find balance. I think of it like the pirate ship ride at the county fair. 

As the ride catapults you through the air in one direction, you must catapult an equal distance the other way before you can get to the gentle swing in the middle––also known as balance. 

Both ends are vomit inducing and uncomfortable AF. But you don't really feel how painful it actually is amongst the endorphin-fueled thrill of being flung through the air. 

I think of dieting as years of being on a broken pirate ship. Obsessing and/or restricting food for most of your life is so far from balance. It's like being stuck at the top of the ride, vomiting all your insides out. 

And because you've been stuck on that one side for so long, you can't just go from stuck to balance in one fell swoop. The pirate ship must swing. And for a little while, it must get stuck on the other side. That's the only way to balance. (I'm pretty sure Newton discovered this principle when he was watching apples fall off trees back in the day.) 

After years of dieting, the unrestricted eating side was the counterbalance I needed. But for me, eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, wasn't ultimately a healthy, balanced relationship with food. Eventually, it became an unhealthy coping mechanism to numb out—just like the dieting was for all those years. 

So I stepped off the pirate ship. But not before I was gently swaying back and forth in the middle by paying attention to how the food I was putting in my body was making me feel—and further, digging into the behaviors that were causing me to need a numbing device in the first place. 

I would love to help you find that balance, no matter what part of the pirate ship ride you are on right now. The first step to balance is signing up for one of my free discovery sessions.

In our session, we will look at the issues keeping you stuck on the pirate ship, and I will create a customized, clear, and achievable path forward to get off the pirate ship and step into a freer way of being. 

It is possible to live a shame-free life where you love your body, take up space, and have balance too. 

Here's the link to schedule our discovery session: https://jaclynmccabecoaching.as.me.


Jaclyn McCabe
Jaclyn McCabe